Russia: Politician Seeks Crypto Counter to US Sanctions

A senior Russian politician has stated that the country may consider allowing traders to conduct international transactions in cryptocurrencies as a response to new international economic sanctions.

The latest batch of sanctions issued by the United States came into force earlier this week, but the Deputy Chairman of Russia’s parliamentary Committee on Economic Policy, Innovation Development and Entrepreneurship, Vladimir Gutenev, says his country may respond by allowing Russian and international arms traders – as well as other vendors – to accept payment in cryptocurrencies.

Russian news outlet Pravda quotes Gutenev as saying, “I think that Russia now has to draw its own ‘red lines.’ It’s time to consider actions that will not only stave off the effect of sanctions, but also counter the damage incurred. I’m sure other countries like China and India would be interested, too. In a boxing match, it’s hard to fight properly if the rules are being broken and the referee does nothing to stop that.”

Gutenev’s suggestion involves potentially pegging the value of cryptocurrencies to the price of gold when making a transaction.

The development comes days after news agency Izvestia claimed it had gained access to official papers from the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, suggesting the creation of a law that requires all cryptocurrency transactions to be registered with financial regulators. The documents suggested that offenders could be subject to criminal prosecution or even jail time.

However, the same publication later quotes Russia’s deputy head of the Ministry of Economic Development Savva Shipov as stating that no legislation currently exists that can regulate cryptocurrency transactions – but that the government could seek to prosecute individuals using tokens to fund illegal weapon or drug deals.

Meanwhile, another country is also looking to dodge the US sanctions by – turning to cryptocurrencies. As reported, Iran is already looking into building the necessary framework needed for a digital currency.

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